Noticeboard

Date: 13 July 2021

Reference Number: 5295

 

Cheshire West and Chester COVID-19 Outbreak Board Position Statement - Advice to Residents post 19th July 2021

As we approach 19th July and Step 4 of the national COVID road map out of lockdown, many of the existing control measures will no longer be a legal requirement for us to follow.

Our infection rates are still very high in the area and continuing to increase. Currently, Cheshire West and Chester has an infection rate of 334 per 100,000 up to 7th July, a 25% increase from the previous week, and the rates are continuing to rise. The rates are highest in the 20-29 age range and we are now seeing more people (currently over 60 admissions) requiring treatment for COVID in our local hospitals.

In the light of rising COVID-19 infections locally and changes to the national COVID-19 restrictions, we are asking those living, working and visiting Cheshire West and Chester, to go above and beyond the minimum guidance required.

Our advice will also support the recovery of our local businesses and the wider economy, as increased transmission of the virus will result in major disruptions if staff are unable to work due to being unwell with COVID-19 and legally required to self-isolate.

We are asking everyone not to see the 19th July as a reason to stop all the good practices that have helped to reduce the spread of the virus and which  have protected our communities and loved ones over the past 16 months, especially when in close contact with others.

The hugely successful mass vaccination programme has weakened the link between infection, the risk of hospitalisation and loss of life. This is incredibly encouraging, but unfortunately it is not the end of the story. It is clear that a massive rise in infections will impact on our unvaccinated children and teenagers and those who have not been vaccinated, either due to personal choice or another medical reason.

We have seen a tremendous uptake of our local vaccine programme so far, with 84% of eligible adults now having their first dose, and 66% having their second dose. We will continue to make getting your vaccine as easy as possible, taking it to areas of the lowest uptake and encouraging people to have their vital second dose.

A very real danger of significant continued transmission is the risk of yet another mutation of the virus that is both easier to catch and could render our current vaccines powerless, essentially taking us back to square one. This is something that is constantly being monitored and makes it doubly important that we continue the good behaviours. 

The people of west Cheshire have pulled together through all stages of the pandemic to look after and protect each other. It is vital that we keep this up as we go forward.

People living, visiting and working in Cheshire West and Chester are advised to:

  • Get fully vaccinated – it’s shown to be safe and effective against the virus, including new variants and is the best way to keep yourself from getting seriously ill. It also reduces the risk of passing the virus on to someone else
  • Be kind and considerate of others who may be feeling extremely nervous about the further lifting of restrictions
  • Continue wearing face coverings in crowded indoor areas where social distancing cannot be followed, such as supermarkets and on public transport, in health and social care settings, such as hospitals, care homes and GP surgeries, and where it would make others feel more comfortable
  • Continue social distancing by not unnecessarily being in crowded areas and continuing to work from home if possible
  • Try to meet others outside where possible
  • Continue to practice good hand hygiene, in particular hand washing
  • Keep getting tested – everyone should undertake twice weekly rapid symptom free testing using Lateral Flow Tests (LFT). If people experience generally associated symptoms such as a headache, a stuffed or runny nose, tiredness or weakness, aches and pains, sore throat or diarrhoea, they should take an LFT and follow up with a PCR test if the LFT test is positive. If people have any of the main symptoms of COVID-19 such as a high temperature, a new continuous cough or loss or change to their sense of smell or taste they must stay at home and book a PCR test.
  • Self-isolate if you have been in contact with someone who has COVID-19, especially if you work in a high-risk setting.

Businesses and workplaces in Cheshire West and Chester are also asked to:

  • Continue to adhere to COVID-19 working safely guidance, including provision of washing facilities and proper ventilation with external fresh air.
  • Continue to engage with the Test, Trace and Isolate process, and increase testing if your workplace has had an outbreak.
  • Encourage your employees to get tested if they suspect they have COVID-19 symptoms and self-isolate if positive.
  • Encourage your employees to have both doses of the COVID-19 vaccine when it is offered.

 It is difficult to say when this way of living will come to an end, but we know that we are likely to have a very difficult winter ahead of us. After months of isolated lives, other infectious diseases are likely to increase. But, by maintaining our good practices in hand hygiene, face coverings and social distancing, our behaviours will all have a positive effect on reducing their impact in west Cheshire. 

We are advising that these good practices continue after the 19th July, and caution where people feel uncomfortable. All of this will help in reducing the spread of the virus, protecting communities and loved ones as we have done since the start of the pandemic.

Thank you once again to all of our residents and businesses. We've done so much by all working together and playing our part. We are asking that we all continue to look after each other and turn this around.

 

Please click on "Covid Vacinations" on the right hand side for all updates

Patient leaflet Covid-19

Prescription requests - email to neston.medicalcentreprescriptions@nhs.net

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Covid-19 and your information

Supplementary Privacy Notice - April 2020

 

This notice describes how we may use your information to protect you and others during the Covid-19 outbreak. This is to be read alongside our main Privacy Notice which is available Data Protection Policy

The Health and Social Care system is facing significant pressures due to the Covid-19

outbreak. Healthcare information is essential to deliver care to individuals, to support

Health and Social Care services and to protect public health. Information is also vital in

researching, monitoring, tracking and managing the outbreak and in the current emergency it has become even more important to share health and care information across relevant

organisations.

 

Existing law which allows confidential patient information to be used and shared

appropriately and lawfully in a public health emergency is being used during this outbreak.

 

Using this law the Secretary of State requires ALL NHS services including, Public Health England, local authorities, health organisations and GPs to share confidential patient information to respond to the Covid-19 outbreak. Any information used or shared during the Covid-19 outbreak will be limited to the period of the outbreak unless there is another legal basis to use the data.

 

Summary Care Records

All patients registered with a GP have a Summary Care Record, unless they have chosen not to have one. The information held in your Summary Care Record gives registered and regulated healthcare professionals, away from your usual GP practice, access to information to provide you with safer care, reduce the risk of prescribing errors and improve your patient experience.

Your Summary Care Record contains basic (Core) information about allergies and medications and any reactions that you have had to medication in the past.

Some patients, including many with long term health conditions, previously have agreed to have Additional Information shared as part of their Summary Care Record. This Additional Information includes information about significant medical history (past and present), reasons for medications, care plan information and immunisations.

 

Change to information held in your Summary Care Record

In light of the current emergency, the Department of Health and Social Care has removed the requirement for a patient’s prior explicit consent to share Additional Information as part of the Summary Care Record.

This is because the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care has issued a legal notice to healthcare bodies requiring them to share confidential patient information with other healthcare bodies where this is required to diagnose, control and prevent the spread of the virus and manage the pandemic. This includes sharing Additional Information through Summary Care Records, unless a patient objects to this.

If you have already expressed a preference to only have Core information shared in your Summary Care Record, or to opt-out completely of having a Summary Care Record, these preferences will continue to be respected and this change will not apply to you. For everyone else, the Summary Care Record will be updated to include the Additional Information. This change of requirement will be reviewed after the current coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

 

Why we have made this change

In order to look after your health and care needs, health and social care bodies may share your confidential patient information contained in your Summary Care Record with clinical and non-clinical staff in other health and care organisations, for example hospitals, NHS 111 and out of hours organisations. These changes will improve the healthcare that you receive away from your usual GP practice.

 

Your rights in relation to your Summary Care Record

Regardless of your past decisions about your Summary Care Record preferences, you will still have the same options that you currently have in place to opt out of having a Summary Care Record, including the opportunity to opt-back in to having a Summary Care Record or opt back in to allow sharing of Additional Information.

You can exercise these rights by doing the following:



    1. Choose to have a Summary Care Record with all information shared. This means that any authorised, registered and regulated health and care professionals will be able to see a detailed Summary Care Record, including Core and Additional Information, if they need to provide you with direct care.

    1. Choose to have a Summary Care Record with Core information only. This means that any authorised, registered and regulated health and care professionals will be able to see limited information about allergies and medications in your Summary Care Record if they need to provide you with direct care.

    1. Choose to opt-out of having a Summary Care Record altogether. This means that you do not want any information shared with other authorised, registered and regulated health and care professionals involved in your direct care. You will not be able to change this preference at the time if you require direct care away from your GP practice. This means that no authorised, registered and regulated health and care professionals will be able to see information held in your GP records if they need to provide you with direct care, including in an emergency.



To make these changes, you should inform your GP practice or complete this form and return it to your GP practice.

National Data Opt-Out

During this period of emergency, patient opt-outs will not generally apply to the data used to support the Covid-19 outbreak, due to the public interest in sharing information. This includes

National Data Opt-out.

 

GP Connect

In order to look after your health and care needs we may share your confidential patient

information including health and care records with authorised clinical and non-clinical staff in other

care settings, for example neighbouring GP practices, hospitals and NHS 111. In order to do this we are using a secure NHS Digital service called GP Connect.  The NHS 111 service will also be able to book appointments for you into your GP practice or other specialised services that may be available in your area.

Research for COVID 19

Under the current changes to law we are required to take part in Research for COVID 19. We are currently sharing information with the following research:

 

Biobank - https://www.ukbiobank.ac.uk/2020/04/covid/

 

Changes to this privacy notice

This notice may be amended at any time, so please review it frequently. The date at the top of this page will be amended each time this notice is updated.

 
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